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ORACEA should not be used during pregnancy. Doxycycline, like other tetracycline-class antibiotics, can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If any tetracycline is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking these drugs, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus and treatment stopped immediately.
The use of drugs of the tetracycline-class during tooth development (last half of pregnancy, infancy, and childhood up to the age of 8 years) may cause permanent discoloration of the teeth (yellow-gray-brown). This adverse reaction is more common during long-term use of the drug but has been observed following repeated short-term courses. Enamel hypoplasia has also been reported. Tetracycline drugs, therefore, should not be used during tooth development unless other drugs are not likely to be effective or are contraindicated.
All tetracyclines form a stable calcium complex in any bone-forming tissue. A decrease in fibula growth rate has been observed in premature human infants given oral tetracycline in doses of 25 mg/kg every 6 hours. This reaction was shown to be reversible when the drug was discontinued. Results of animal studies indicate that tetracyclines cross the placenta, are found in fetal tissues, and can cause retardation of skeletal development on the developing fetus. Evidence of embryotoxicity has been noted in animals treated early in pregnancy.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
The anti-anabolic action of the tetracyclines may cause an increase in BUN. While this is not a problem in those with normal renal function, in patients with significantly impaired function, higher serum levels of tetracycline-class antibiotics may lead to azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, and acidosis. If renal impairment exists, even usual oral or parenteral doses may lead to excessive systemic accumulations of the drug and possible liver toxicity. Under such conditions, lower than usual total doses are indicated, and if therapy is prolonged, serum level determinations of the drug may be advisable.
Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines. Although this was not observed during the duration of the clinical studies with ORACEA, patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while using ORACEA. If patients need to be outdoors while using ORACEA, they should wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician.
Tetracyclines have been associated with the development of autoimmune syndromes. Symptoms may be manifested by fever, rash, arthralgia, and malaise. In symptomatic patients, liver function tests, ANA, CBC, and other appropriate tests should be performed to evaluate the patients. Use of all tetracycline-class drugs should be discontinued immediately.
Tetracycline-class drugs are known to cause hyperpigmentation. Tetracycline therapy may induce hyperpigmentation in many organs, including nails, bone, skin, eyes, thyroid, visceral tissue, oral cavity (teeth, mucosa, alveolar bone), sclerae and heart valves. Skin and oral pigmentation has been reported to occur independently of time or amount of drug administration, whereas other pigmentation has been reported to occur upon prolonged administration. Skin pigmentation includes diffuse pigmentation as well as over sites of scars or injury.
Pseudotumor cerebri (benign intracranial hypertension) in adults has been associated with the use of tetracyclines. The usual clinical manifestations are headache and blurred vision. Bulging fontanels have been associated with the use of tetracyclines in infants. While both of these conditions and related symptoms usually resolve after discontinuation of the tetracycline, the possibility for permanent sequelae exists. Patients should be questioned for visual disturbances prior to initiation of treatment with tetracyclines and should be routinely checked for papiledema while on treatment.
Development of Drug Resistant Bacteria
Bacterial resistance to tetracyclines may develop in patients using ORACEA. Because of the potential for drug-resistant bacteria to develop during the use of ORACEA, it should only be used as indicated.
As with other antibiotic preparations, use of ORACEA may result in overgrowth of non-susceptible microorganisms, including fungi. If superinfection occurs, ORACEA should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Although not observed in clinical trials with ORACEA, the use of tetracyclines may increase the incidence of vaginal candidiasis. ORACEA should be used with caution in patients with a history of or predisposition to Candida overgrowth.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)
Patients taking ORACEA Capsules 40 mg should receive the following information and instructions:
- It is recommended that ORACEA not be used by individuals of either gender who are attempting to conceive a child
- It is recommended that ORACEA not be used by pregnant or breast feeding women
- Patients should be advised that pseudomembranous colitis can occur with doxycycline therapy. If patients develop watery or bloody stools, they should seek medical attention.
- Patients should be advised that pseudotumor cerebri can occur with doxycycline therapy. If patients experience headache or blurred vision they should seek medical attention.
- Photosensitivity manifested by an exaggerated sunburn reaction has been observed in some individuals taking tetracyclines, including doxycycline. Patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight (tanning beds or UVA/B treatment) while using doxycycline. If patients need to be outdoors while using doxycycline, they should wear loose-fitting clothes that protect skin from sun exposure and discuss other sun protection measures with their physician. Treatment should be discontinued at the first evidence of sunburn.
- Concurrent use of doxycycline may render oral contraceptives less effective.
- Autoimmune syndromes, including drug-induced lupus-like syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, vasculitis and serum sickness have been observed with tetracycline-class drugs, including doxycycline. Symptoms may be manifested by arthralgia, fever, rash and malaise. Patients who experience such symptoms should be cautioned to stop the drug immediately and seek medical help.
- Patients should be counseled about discoloration of skin, scars, teeth or gums that can arise from doxycycline therapy.
- Take ORACEA exactly as directed. Increasing doses beyond 40 mg every morning may increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Doxycycline was assessed for potential to induce carcinogenesis in a study in which the compound was administered to Sprague-Dawley rats by gavage at dosages of 20, 75, and 200 mg/kg/day for two years. An increased incidence of uterine polyps was observed in female rats that received 200 mg/kg/day, a dosage that resulted in a systemic exposure to doxycycline approximately 12.2 times that observed in female humans who use ORACEA [exposure comparison based upon area under the curve (AUC) values]. No impact upon tumor incidence was observed in male rats up to at 200 mg/kg/day, or in females at the lower dosages studied.
Doxycyline was assessed for potential to induce carcinogenesis in CD-1 mice by gavage at dosages 20, 75, and 150 mg/kg/day in males and at dosages of 20, 100, and 300 mg/kg/day in females. No impact upon tumor incidence was observed in male and female mice at systemic exposures approximately 4.2 and 8.3 times that observed in humans, respectively.
Doxycycline demonstrated no potential to cause genetic toxicity in an in vitro point mutation study with mammalian cells (CHO/HGPRT forward mutation assay) or in an in vivo micronucleus assay conducted in CD-1 mice. However, data from an in vitro mammalian chromosomal aberration assay conducted with CHO cells suggest that doxycycline is a weak clastogen. Oral administration of doxycycline to male and female Sprague-Dawley rats adversely affected fertility and reproductive performance, as evidenced by increased time for mating to occur, reduced sperm motility, velocity, and concentration, abnormal sperm morphology, and increased pre-and post-implantation losses. Doxycycline induced reproductive toxicity at all dosages that were examined in this study, as even the lowest dosage tested (50 mg/kg/day) induced a statistically significant reduction in sperm velocity. Note that 50 mg/kg/day is approximately 3.6 times the amount of doxycycline contained in the recommended daily dose of ORACEA when compared on the basis of AUC estimates. Although doxycycline impairs the fertility of rats when administered at sufficient dosage, the effect of ORACEA on human fertility is unknown.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Results from animal studies indicate that doxycycline crosses the placenta and is found in fetal tissues.
Tetracyclines are excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in infants from doxycycline, ORACEA should not be used in mothers who breastfeed.
ORACEA should not be used in infants and children less than 8 years of age [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. ORACEA has not been studied in children of any age with regard to safety or efficacy, therefore use in children is not recommended.
Clinical studies of ORACEA did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/12/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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